The current Guinness record for the number of escape rooms visited in 24 hours is 32 rooms and was set by Japanese group in 2020. However, this is not the only such impressive number - less than a month earlier the record was 25 rooms in a day, and in 2018 - 22 rooms in 24 hours.
The rush in and between escape rooms is also the domain of many groups practicing escape room tourism, albeit on a smaller scale. The question is - is it still a pleasure?
It is nothing new to report that there are more and more escape room enthusiasts in the world. Those who are taking their first steps in puzzle rooms are visiting them more and more, but rather one at a time. Avid players, on the other hand, are expanding their horizons thanks to popular escape room tourism, thus visiting rooms far from their places of residence. It's only natural that when travelling to the other end of the country or to another country, the group does more rooms in a day to visit as many as possible - because there's no telling if and when they'll return to that location. And it is this target group that we will focus on in these considerations.
Visiting a large number of escape rooms in a short period of time involves a rush. With such a tourist lifestyle, is it still possible to enjoy the puzzles, talk to the owners and find time for rest? Undoubtedly, it is difficult, but not impossible.
The standard day of an escape room tourist
A visit to rooms hundreds of kilometres away from home requires advance preparation. When planning this kind of trip, it is necessary to pay attention to several factors and include them in the daily plan. These include:
distances between companies, if visiting more than one location, and the type of transportation between them;
breaks for meals or coffee;
hourly entry slots, which can sometimes be individually adjusted and thus help to visit more rooms or take a longer break window;
the margin of error between the approximate time to leave the first room and the time to start the next game.
The day for such a group starts quite early. According to estimates, the first-morning entry slots are mainly occupied by two groups of players. These are company integrations (team-building outings during working hours) and experienced teams, who take every hour into consideration when planning the schedule of the day.
Such a group does an average of 8 rooms a day. This is not a number pulled out of a hat - more than once, on enthusiast forums there were discussions about how many rooms per day a team does during long-distance trips. The numbers varied from 4 to 10 rooms per day. A significant number of players advocated 8 rooms per day, and let's assume such an average number for the sake of this text.
With 8 rooms per day to do, it is necessary to ideally schedule time for any kind of break. Groups usually take two - the first for coffee and lunch, the second for lunch or a larger meal. A pause is often the perfect excuse to change locations. Often the breaks are planned so as not to make up miles and waste precious time: so it's worth doing all the rooms in a given location at once, and in the time for moving to another location add time for a meal and a short recovery. After such an intensive day, many times the group does not have the strength to explore the destination city, although this is not the rule, of course. This is not a bad thing: after all, the mental effort can be just as exhausting as physical effort. And in the morning, after all, you have to get up and do more puzzles in more rooms.
To sum up: a tourist's day usually consists of a quick wake-up call, breakfast, several rooms, lunch, more rooms, dinner and another portion of rooms for a late bedtime.
Advantages of a large number of rooms per day
It can be said that we have two types of escape room enthusiasts. The first one is oriented to admire the details, not to rush the game and to have long conversations with the game master or owner after the game, which cover all possible industry topics. The second type of player is geared toward a record or a quick speed run of the game, before running to the next room. Of course, there are times when both types of player are in the same group, but the first type involves doing a single room as a recreation, and the second type activates only when you pass one of several rooms that day, and is due to the fact that the day is short.
So what are the good things about escaping a large number of rooms in a day? Certainly, the fact that a lot of experience is built up in a short period of time. In a way, it also saves time, which is very valuable in today's lifestyle. At the cost of one day or weekend, we are able to get to know all the available games, and thus make an accurate ranking and determine the specifics of the area in terms of escape rooms.
In the case of doing all the rooms in the city on one trip, there is no longer the need to later return to the rooms that are left to do.
The simplest and at the same time the most key advantage is to derive maximum pleasure from your own passion, and this is very difficult to beat. After all, the fun comes from the whole environment, not just from the games themselves - planning such a trip can be an attraction in itself for some, which is in addition to the main activities.
Disadvantages of a large number of rooms per day
Overall, it seems that the disadvantages of such a mode of tourism are more numerous than the advantages. After all, the biggest enemy of a good time is the inevitable fatigue that is inherent at the end of such a marathon. It's no secret that with a large number of rooms per day, we no longer remember those last puzzles when our body demands rest. The brain, moreover, does as well. Fatigue often makes the last rooms merge into one, and we can't remember either the puzzles or the characteristic elements, which unfortunately affects the overall impression of the game as an experience. Even good rooms don't feel as good when we don't remember them.
Fatigue affects one more thing besides remembering details. There's no denying that the later we are, the less efficient we are - rooms done on fatigue in the evening with such a marathon may go significantly worse for us than if they were done in the morning (of course, this does not apply to all groups - some with a large number of rooms catch a flow that even allows them to break records). This also affects the final room rating. We remember completely differently the rooms in which the game did not go very smoothly for us. In this case, fatigue can cause a snowball effect, at the end of which will be dissatisfaction with the game.
For players who like to talk after the game with the Game Master and exchange experiences, it will be necessary to limit this conversation to an absolute minimum. Sometimes there is so little time between rooms that there is barely enough for a simple "see you later." This is a very big minus, because as a rule of thumb, who does 10 rooms a day, if not a passionate person who would like to go through them all, but the day is simply too short? Not to mention the stress caused by the lack of time for possible random events beyond our control. A late streetcar can cause everything to crumble like a house of cards despite careful planning and with it the next games of the day.
One of the biggest drawbacks of such marathons is the economic factor. There's no denying that this is not a cheap hobby, and doing several or a dozen rooms in a day means not only the cost of the rooms themselves but also the transportation, hotel or meals.
Then what is the optimal number of rooms?
Theoretically, it is impossible to answer this question - each group has a different style of play, different resistance to fatigue and different economic possibilities. However, we will try to answer the question: what is the optimal number of rooms to maximize enjoyment and not get frustrated?
In this article, you see many pictures. I asked each person/team what record they have of rooms visited in a day and what number of rooms they consider optimal. The answer to the first was similar in each case: 10, 11, and 12 rooms. Here you can see the consensus and some common denominators: experienced teams are able to visit more than a dozen rooms in a day.
And what with the pleasure?
Sometimes the numbers were simply stated. 8 rooms, says Cici from ESCAPETHEROOMers.
Sometimes statements were made that required assumptions. For me, there is no such thing as "too many rooms" if they are good, says Bartosz Idzikowski from Lockme.
And sometimes statements were made that are the essence of this entertainment, which we all agree with and can't argue with. My record for the number of rooms in a day is 12. Is it still a pleasure? My head says YES, but my legs at the end of the day say NO, says Heiner Stepen.
Or even more mysterious. The optimal number of escape rooms per day is the sum of the number of escape rooms planned for a given day and the maximum number of escape rooms that can be squeezed into the schedule thanks to finishing these rooms quickly, says Justyna Śnieżek.
And let that be the best summary and answer.
Some good tips
We have some tips for you on how to plan a day consisting of many rooms to visit in such a way that you can enjoy the games without worrying that certain factors will spoil it for you.
Plan your day carefully. Take into account meal breaks and possible transportation if the rooms are in different locations. Don't leave too small margins between rooms, and if possible, prepare a time reserve for restrooms and unexpected stuff. Also, you remember the most from the first and last rooms - in psychology, this is called the recency effect and the primacy effect.
Don't bite more than you can chew. If your record so far is two rooms a day, don't immediately plan 10 rooms at once. Try to build your experience in small steps, slowly increasing the number of rooms. You will then gain experience not only in puzzles but also in planning.
Don't forget about yourself. Nor about your friends in the group. Although escape rooms are a passion and a life for many of us, remember to get enough sleep and don't skip meals. There is nothing worse than playing in an escape room when players are hungry and sleep-deprived. Playing in a state of fatigue and hunger will certainly not be a good memory of such a trip.
Have fun! Although many groups doing a large number of rooms in a short period of time make records, don't forget that the most important thing in all this is to have fun. Be patient, and a good result will come on its own over time.
Lock.me team member. Germanist and scholar of German literature - German language is also her superpower.
Besides escape rooms and board games, she loves Dragon Ball, Star Wars and cynology. After work she likes learning foreign languages, writing texts and planning her next trip to escape room, probably with rap music in the background.
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